This should be the last in a series of posts about my family’s goals for the year 2014. Thank you for reading. I hope I haven’t been annoyingly personal. It has been my hope that maybe someone out there has struggled with goals, and might gain some ideas from me speaking about our thoughts that went into our goals. If that’s not something you struggle with, awesome. Thanks for reading anyhow!
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children
This last goal, or at least the last that I intend to publish, is probably the most important of all. It also may be one that never is needed, but since we do not know what may happen tomorrow, much less 5 minutes from now, it is important that it be done soon.
In 2008, we were blessed with our first child. A few years later, two more came along. Who knows, we might have more in the future.
Around the time our first was born, my wife and I both bought term life insurance. I could go into detail about that subject, but it is enough to say if my wife were to die, child care and expenses would be taken care of. If I were to die, child care plus a lot of living expenses would be taken care of. Thats the point of life insurance – it’s there so those still living can, well, live.
But what if we both were to die around the same time? We are still relatively young and don’t like to consider that possibility. The harsh reality is that there is always a chance that something could happen to both of us that would necessitate our kids would be raised by someone else.
You would think we would have a written Last Will and Testament in place. Sadly, you would be wrong.
You would think that having a free, basic Will available to us through my employer would be enough. Again, wrong.
Our lives are busy. Taking the time to intentionally sit down together, as a mother and father, and commit this information to paper (and formally enough to make it efficacious), has been difficult.
In very early 2014, our goal is to have a complete Will written and properly notarized, filed, published, etc. Should both of us exit this life at around the same time, our children would be taken care of.
That seems simple enough.
But Wait, There’s More!
Here is where we might be a bit different. We intend to communicate what the Will contains the family, and anyone else who might be involved (executor, trustees, etc), in 2014 as well.
What we do not want to happen in the event of our departure is a fight over what a written Will says, or the intent behind what it says. The last thing our children, whatever age they would be, need to witness is family fighting over them, much less the assets are left to take care of them.
We plan on communicating:
- Who is to take care of the kids (Guardians), including alternates
- The name of the Executor, plus a plan for selecting alternate executors
- The name of the Trustee, plus a plan for selecting alternates
- How the trust fund is intended to be set up. The funny thing about having life insurance – if the insured dies, the money needs to go somewhere. It’s there for the care of the kids.
- Assurances that all living relatives to the children can visit the children, regardless of who is named
Communicating these things before there is an impending death seems strange. Culturally, it seems that we are conditioned to believe that the Will is some secret document that is revealed for the first time after death. You are probably familiar with a scene from a movie or TV show of a family sitting in a living room, the Will being read, and a whole bunch of drama follows.
We don’t want that for our children. There should be no drama for them, or for the rest of the family if something bad were to happen to us.
Thanks for reading all the way down here. I do have a question for you, the reader. If you have put a Will together for your family, I would love any advice you might have. How did you choose the people that need to be involved (Guardian, Executor, Trustee)? Where did you go to get it put together? Are there some things that you wrote into yours that most people might not think about?
I’d appreciate any input you may have – via e-mail, private message on Facebook, etc. We want to get this right for our kids and our family.
Thanks for reading about our family’s goals for 2014. Hopefully there is some information in all of this that is useful to someone.